Tough times and tough food choices

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If you’ve been keeping up on the daily news in conjunction with daily food prices, odds are you are starting to really take seriously not just the state of the economy, but rather how to prepare for it getting worse.

Yeah I know – the economy has been bad for a few years now and it’s expected to recover any day right?   Well, that isn’t how I see it – and I see no signs of it happening any time soon.

So this Sunday morning I was cleaning dishes and perhaps it was the fresh air reminding me of the upcoming spring and summer seasons, but I started thinking about food and the economy.

I have a zillion thoughts about how to prepare for worse times ahead and not sure how to express them all.  But here are a four steps I have either already taken, or plan on taking.  Perhaps you have ideas too – feel free to share.  I hope these help you.

1.  Purchase a portable grill – or really any grill.

Propane or charcoal you ask?  I have no idea which is better.   I can point you to a site that talks specifically about a popular Coleman road trip grill that can be used for camping or at home.  Reading reviews like that one is good – and can let you know what to look for when searching for a grill.

Last year during the summer, our power went out.   So what did we do?  Order Domino’s!  No, I’m kidding – we fired up the grill and grilled some frozen pizzas.   In times of power outages or even brown outs – this is a great way to still cook up a good meal – especially when your freezer or fridge is out of commission.

2.  Eat earlier.

I mention this because not only is it healthier, but in times of power outages (due to storms or what have you)  or when electricity prices are sky high (as our President once foreshadowed), take advantage of the sun light.  You don’t have to have the lights on (oops I’m turning mine off right now) all the time.  This will increase the electric bill.

3.  Talk to older relatives who lived through the Depression and other hard times.

When my husband and I were so pressed for cash and we could no longer use credit cards, who did he talk to about ideas for food and living through hard times?

His parents.  

His father talked about how they ate just about all their meals from their garden – and I mean all their food.  Simple cooking, simple foods (hey that sounds kinda familiar!). His mother talked about how they relatives often helped out bringing baskets of food or fruit for their family.

If you’ve read my gardening blogs from about a year ago – you should know that I tried my hand at gardening without too much success.   That terrible heat wave really took it’s toll (well that’s my excuse).   But I might try again – it’s a skill I fervently believe everyone should try to master.

With his mother’s advice – I’d like to expand.   First, don’t let your pride stand in your way if you need help.   But also don’t let selfishness stand in the way of helping others who could use it.  Besides, you never know where they might end up later – such as in a position to return the favor when you are in need.

Remember, we’re not just talking about food per se – but also skills.

If you grow apples – offer them to neighbors.   If you have extra lettuce or tomatoes in your garden – do the same.   Trust me – in tough times people will pull together.  Those that don’t will live to regret it.

4.  Take care of what you have.

I really learned the value of this through my husband.   I have gone through very hard times – no money in the account – can’t put gas in the car to get groceries – it’s been terrible.   But when I went out no one would have ever guessed it.

I took care of the winter leather coat I purchased 12 years ago when working at a large corporation making decent money.   I kept my shoes in their original boxes never to get scratched up or trashed even during 3 moves.  And makeup – I used only when going out – thereby never wasting it.   You get the point.

Those are my first 4 tips.  Coupon clipping, living frugally, and learning to say NO to material indulgences – there are other things that you can do to reduce living expenses and survive in hard times.

It is possible.

Easy italian recipes

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